Having been so much engaged with running the Infrared-Club (Extra-Visible Imaging) , I have been neglecting my own site. With Spring in the air in the Northern Hemisphere, plants are growing and flowers, mainly from bulbs, are appearing. I thought that a Journal entry looking at the different ways in which our fellow deviants represent flowers might be an interesting topic. All images are taken from my flower collection okavanga.deviantart.com/favour… or from my own images.
Angela Leonetti, angelaleonetti.deviantart.com/, provides very good examples of documentary shots of flowers. All the images are crisp, clear, and colourful. Here are some examples:
Angela's work also shows another important “rule of thumb” when taking shots of flowers – concentrate on the subject by filling the frame and by keeping any background blurred.
Nevertheless, even a blurred background can be used to good effect as seen in this neat image (the first of the three below) of tulips by woodfaery woodfaery.deviantart.com/ . Here the red of the foreground tulip heads is repeated in the bokeh of the background.
As if in defiance of the “rule of thumb”, azankinoking (Ashton) azankinoking.deviantart.com/ blurs most of his image (the second ot the three above) allowing only details to be in focus with the rest providing texture and an abstracted view of the flower. The same idea can be seen in christinestork's christinestork.deviantart.com/ image of the stamens of her Yellow Tulip (the third image above). These latter two examples lead to a second “rule of thumb” that detail and texture are important components in flower images.
Following immeditely from detail, flowers also present opportunities for macro work. The three examples below illustrate this. First, one from printsILike (Michael) printsilike.deviantart.com/ . Here the detail shows the pollen as well as the tentacle-like nature of the stamens. Macro work usually involves very shallow depth of field, so you either have to live with that or adopt special techniques to increase the DoF. In the next image, bldn333 (Brad) bldn333.deviantart.com/ has adopted the former approach, but detail, bokeh, and the subject combine to give a memorable image. The third shot below (one of my infrared shots) is of a small campanula flower head. Here the DoF problem is less apparent as the subject is almost all in one plane.
The infrared example brings in another facet of photographing flowers – there is no absolute rule that flowers (plants in general) have to be portrayed with their natural colours. In the first of the three below, mikeloveridge mikeloveridge.deviantart.com/ has inverted the colours of the leaf and flower to give a startling image where form and texture, as well as the colour rendition, grab your attention. Another startling image is “Sunflowers infrared”, by MichiLauke (Michael) michilauke.deviantart.com/ .(The second image below.) Infrared images can be “worked up” in various ways to give artefactual colours. Part of the art of infrared work is to find the palette that suits the image, and here Michael shows his mastery of this aspect of infrared photography. There is no need to even differentiate colours in flower shots if you can find a suitable monochrome. The third image, “Iris Infra-Red” below shows this with a more modest image from my portfolio.
Finally, I should like to present three images by florapixxa (Petra) florapixxa.deviantart.com/ . These are abstracted images made from flower photographs. I find her work stunning.
In summary, I have tried to show some different approaches to capturing and displaying images of flowers, with some “rules of thumb” that can be usefully followed.